The two Montgomery County wrestlers thought to have the best shot at an individual state title didn’t disappoint as the second day of the State Wrestling Championships wrapped up Friday night at the Williams County Ag Expo.
Clarksville High’s Tyler Crane and Bruno Reagan have been ranked all year in their respective weight classes and have a combined 95-1 record this season. And the Wildcats duo met those lofty expectations with semifinal victories Friday to put themselves in position to win a state crown Saturday afternoon.
“You’re talking about two kids, two individuals, who epitomize the great tradition here at Clarksville and this wrestling program,” first-year coach Jacky Blosser said. “You’re talking about two kids who are hard-nosed, work constantly and shoot for the same goals and they’re going to get their chance now.”
This is the fourth straight year that Clarksville High has put an individual in a state championship match and the second straight year that CHS has at least two competing for a state title in the same tournament. Last year, Hayden Jordan and Chad Isbell advanced, but both came up short.
“No excuses,” Reagan said after pinning Farragut’s Charles Leavell late in the first period in the 285-pound semifinals Friday. “I don’t want any excuses for not getting this done. I’m excited, but I’m also focused on what I need to do and for me, the journey isn’t quite over this year.”
Reagan came into this year’s tournament as the No. 1-ranked heavyweight with a 48-0 dual record. He’ll be matched up with a familiar foe in Beech’s Taylor Podnay.
Podnay is the state’s second-ranked heavyweight and the two have locked horns nearly weekly since the middle of last month. Reagan is 6-1 overall against Podnay.
“I’ll think about (the championship) match a lot until the match starts,” Reagan said. “Then I just go out there and wrestle. I don’t want to hold anything back at this point.”
Crane is the state’s second-ranked wrestler at 170 pounds with a 47-1 mark. He escaped a 3-2 decision against Germantown’s Derrick Tucker. Crane earned an escape point in the third period to pull out the victory. He’ll face Maryville’s Chad Solomon, who finished fifth overall last year.
Only two other wrestlers are still in contention to place. West Creek’s Kevin Knier advanced to the 106-pound semifinals before being knocked off by Toribio Navarro, 14-5. Knier will wrestle in the consolation semifinals Saturday morning.
Clarksville’s Kiel Russell advanced to the 182-pound class’ quarterfinals before being bumped into the consolation round.
From there, Russell picked up two more victories and will compete in the consolation semis Saturday.
Consolation matches will begin 10 a.m. Saturday with the state championship matches to start at 5 p.m.
In the girls’ invitational that runs in conjunction with the state tournament, Northeast had seven wrestlers compete with Maygen Reeves (120) as the lone Lady Eagle that advanced to her invitational title match.
Northeast’s Tori Knier (112), Lyssa Maika (125), Elizabeth Lynn (130), Keyana Bean (138), Calia Rix (148) and Teneia Aliki (185) will wrestle out of the consolation bracket Saturday.
Rossview’s Abby Hawk and Northwest’s Amber Macias also will wrestle out of consolation in the 105-pound weight class.